How did it get to this point? How did the Sixers become a franchise with little hope and with a disillusioned fan base that’s annually wallowing in mediocrity? In the NBA, a few wrong turns can leave you lost for a decade.
Here are the three mind-numbing decisions that have crippled the organization:
1. July 10, 2008: Sixers signed unrestricted free agent Elton Brand to a five-year, $79.7 million contract.
The Brand signing was widely lauded as a coup for the Sixers because they “stole” him away from the Clippers at the last minute. But in reality, it was the first domino that allowed the Clips to ascend. Giving $80 million to a 29-year-old player one year removed from an Achilles tendon tear is just inexcusable. Brand was a shell of himself right from jump street for the Sixers, showing completely sapped athletic ability. He averaged a pitiful 13.2 points per game over four seasons in Philly and was paid to leave prior to the 2012-13 campaign via the amnesty clause. How did the medical staff sign off on damaged goods?
2. June 24, 2010: Sixers use No. 2 overall pick on Ohio State G/F Evan Turner.
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When it comes to the draft, hindsight is always 20/20. But the Sixers already had two core wings that couldn’t shoot in Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young. They had a rising star point guard in Jrue Holiday. So given Turner’s known limitations as a shooter, the pick turned out to be a head-scratching bust. The Sixers would have been better off filling their desperate need for a big with Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe or DeMarcus Cousins.
3. Aug. 10, 2012: Sixers trade for Andrew Bynum
Credit the Sixers for swinging for the fences. But when it comes to one of the biggest trades in franchise history, there has to be a winner and loser. And the Sixers clearly lost. Not only has Bynum not played a single minute, but Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless (now with the Magic) have the look of future stars. The Sixers are left with the most cap room they’ve had since the Brand signing, but it’s still not as much as teams like the Hawks, Cavaliers and Pistons.